|“||A tornado spins about the stage, wreaking havoc on all that cross its path.||”|
|—Super Smash Bros.'s instruction manual|
Hyrule Castle (ハイラル城, Hyrule Castle) is a playable stage in Super Smash Bros. and home to Link. It did not return in Super Smash Bros. Melee, although a similar stage based in Hyrule called Temple appears.
Hyrule Castle returned as a downloadable stage in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U on July 31st, 2015, alongside Peach's Castle. Like the other returning stages from the first Smash Bros. game, some of the textures are slightly higher in quality, but the general overall primitive look of the original is retained. It returned once again in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
It may seem like an unusual place for a fight, but the roof of Hyrule Castle is one of the most exciting stages in Smash Bros. A platform with a ladder towers above the center of the arena, and the wide roof provides plenty of space for four players to get it on. Wind whipping across Hyrule Field can cause miniature tornadoes to form on the roof of the castle, so try throwing your opponents into these tiny twisters.
The stage has a large main platform in the center. Three platforms float about midway across the main platform, with the middle to the right of the top and bottom ones. To the right of the main platform is a lower, connected platform with a gazebo-like structure in the middle of it. This area is sometimes known as the "Combo Tent" as characters can use aerials and throws to knock opponents off walls and into combos or KOs. This was made famous by Isai's "Greenhouse" Pikachu combo, which is multiple back throws into a down air, back air, Up smash, and then a Thunder KO. Characters may stand on top of it, but can not jump through it. Connected to the left of the main platform is a slightly lower, slanted platform. In competitive play, Fox dominates on this stage.
The only terrain effect is tornadoes which appear randomly over the stage. They tend to last around 10-20 seconds, and move randomly in a direction, although they may suddenly speed up and home in on a character. If caught, a character is held for about 2 seconds before being dealt 14% and thrown upward, KOing near 100% depending on weight and placement of tornado.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U, the tornadoes no longer speed up randomly and stay at a constant slow speed.
According to the American ruleset, Hyrule Castle has been recently been considered to be a banned stage as of 2014. Although it was considered to be the second most neutral stage, behind Dream Land, for a long time, the disadvantages of the hazards and features of the stage have become more apparent in the more recent metagame. The tornado hazards on the stage are known for appearing completely randomly, without any indication of the position where the tornado appeared if the tornado is outside of the screen's reach. The tornadoes also speed up at random times, which can catch even more wary players offguard, and fully cover options that would have otherwise been completely safe. The stage's large size also allows significant camping in certain positions, as in certain matchups it is possible for one player to camp on the far left of the stage and make it extremely difficult for the opponent to approach safely: a primary example is Kirby against Captain Falcon, as Kirby can stay on the far left of the stage and space up tilts and back airs to cover all of Captain Falcon's safe approach options, with a match between Mew2King and Stranded involving this technique being infamous. It is also possible for several characters to camp the top platform, such as Pikachu and Kirby: this was made famous by SuperBoomFan who had a 52 minute game with Gerson.
Bane is often credited for being a significant contributor to the banning of Hyrule Castle, detailing the disadvantages of the stage in a SmashBoards thread named A Case Against Hyrule, and also comparing the stage's legality to other stages. However, Hyrule Castle remains a popular stage among many players due to the unique combos possible in the tent portion and the strategies that are usable due to the stage's structure. Due to the Gentleman's Rule, Hyrule Castle can still be seen in tournaments if both players agree to playing on it.
Hyrule Castle has always been banned in the Japanese ruleset, as Dream Land is considered the only neutral and legal stage in said ruleset. The Peruvian ruleset contrasts with this, as Hyrule Castle is considered to be the only neutral and legal stage in said ruleset. However, as per late 2014, Hyrule is also being phased out for Dream Land, due to the same reasoning.
This stage is from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Ever since The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past there has been a Hyrule Castle where Princess Zelda and other members of the royal family live. The Hyrule Castle seen in this stage is the Hyrule Castle in Ocarina of Time. This stage is an accurate rendition of the castle seen in Ocarina of Time except there are no platforms that go up the middle tower and the spear on the right has been turned into a gazebo-like structure. In the original The Legend of Zelda a recorder can be played to summon a tornado that would warp you to certain dungeons depending on the direction you're facing. This is the only Zelda game before Ocarina of Time to feature a tornado. In this stage there is a tornado that throws players upward. The tornado itself could be a reference to The Legend of Zelda, but what the tornado does has no relation to it. The Death Mountain in Ocarina of Time can be seen in the background.
The music for this stage is a remixed version of The Legend of Zelda's overworld.
- Strangely, Maxim Tomatoes never appear on this stage. If the Maxim Tomato is the only item turned on via Item Switch, all the crates and capsules that appear will be explosives or a "dud".
- This is the only stage from The Legend of Zelda universe to have ever been considered tournament legal in both singles and doubles.